KUALA LUMPUR (July 17): The government expects to finalise the long-awaited White Paper on the iron and steel industry by the end of this year, said Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
In a written reply to a question in the Dewan Rakyat, Azmin said the processes involved in finalising the iron and steel policy review had been extended due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order recently to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The government has taken into account the requests and recommendations by industry players in improving the review of the current policies in the iron and steel sector,” he said.
“The review of the iron and steel policy is expected to be finalised before end of this year, following which it will be announced by the government,” Azmin said in his reply yesterday to questions from former deputy international trade and industry minister Ong Kian Ming (DAP-Bangi).
The White Paper has been long awaited by industry players, particularly flat steel players, who have submitted their own White Paper in April 2019 following a request by the International Trade and Industry Ministry in its 2018 report.
The steel industry’s submission, according to reports, contained 68 recommendations under seven transformation drivers and was a collaborative effort between stakeholders in the steel industry and various associations, including the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation (Misif).
While there are several flat steel players, there are only two large publicly traded local producers, namely Mycron Steel Bhd and CSC Steel Holdings Bhd.
Local manufacturers of cold-rolled coil — one of two core flat steel products — have complained about the lack of measures to protect them against industry challenges, such as the imposition of duties on foreign imports into Malaysia to allow more competitive pricing for local products.
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